April 2007

Game #19: Blue Jays at Red Sox pregame

I’m back. After a few days off, enjoying the beautiful weather in Toronto, I’m now doing the same from Fenway Park in Boston. I took advatage of the sunshine and made the 20-25 minutes trek from my hotel to the ballpark and soaked up every second of it. Tomorrow I may go for a jog along the Charles River if the weather brings more of the same. Now, about getting those Toronto bats going…

Toronto (8-10) at Boston (12-5)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Matt Stairs, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Gregg Zaun, C
Aaron Hill, 2B
Royce Clayton, SS
Jason Phillips, 1B
John McDonald, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Tomo Ohka

RED SOX
Julio Lugo, SS
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Wily Mo Pena, CF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Dustin Pedroia, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Tim Wakefield

NOTES: CL B.J. Ryan was transferred to the 60-day DL prior to Monday night’s game, meaning he won’t be eligible to return to the Jays until June 14. … LHP Brian Tallet was back with the Jays in Boston. … 1B Lyle Overbay was sent home with an upset stomach. … 3B Troy Glaus is expected to rejoin Toronto in New York to take batting practice with the team. The Jays will determine at that time if he’ll be able to come off the DL as scheduled on April 28.

Game #15: Red Sox at Blue Jays pregame

Boston (8-5) at Toronto (8-6)
at 12:37 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

RED SOX
Coco Crisp, CF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Eric Hinske, 1B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Alex Cora, SS

PITCHING: RHP Julian Tavarez

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Adam Lind, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Jason Smith, 3B
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay

NOTES: CL B.J. Ryan spoke with the media about his elbow injury. Check bluejays.com later to read what he had to say. … Halladay owns a 16-4 record when starting the day after a Blue Jays loss. … The Jays will catch a flight to Baltimore Thursday night, and begin a three-game set with the Orioles on Friday. I’m not making that part of the road trip, so the blog might be dorment until I rejoin the press corps for the following series’ in Boston and New York.

Game #14: Red Sox at Blue Jays pregame

Boston (7-5) at Toronto (8-5)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

RED SOX
Julio Lugo, SS
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Coco Crisp, CF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Dustin Pedroia, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Tim Wakefield

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Matt Stairs, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Jason Phillips, C
Royce Clayton, SS
John McDonald, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Tomo Ohka

Game #13: Red Sox at Blue Jays pregame

Boston (7-4) at Toronto (7-5)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

RED SOX
Julio Lugo, SS
Coco Crisp, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Wily Mo Pena, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Adam Lind, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Royce Clayton, SS
Jason Smith, 3B

PITCHING: LHP Gustavo Chacin

NOTES: Smith and INF John McDonald will platoon at 3B in Troy Glaus’ absence. … CL B.J. Ryan (strained ligament in left elbow) will refrain from throwing for four weeks before beginning a throwing program. … LF Reed Johnson was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back on Tuesday.

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News…

GOOD NEWS: Believe it or not, news that closer B.J. Ryan is out for 4-6 weeks can be considered good news. Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi sounded like a man prepared to hear the words "Tommy John surgery" after Ryan met with Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Instead, it’s being described as a strained ligament in his left elbow — similar to what A.J. Burnett and Gus Chacin dealt with last year.

BAD NEWS: The Blue Jays hoped 3B Troy Glaus would be available to play on Tuesday against the Red Sox. On Monday, though, Toronto placed the slugger on the 15-day DL with a tight hamstring and a bone spur in his left heel. There’s no timetable for Glaus’ return, but he’ll be eligible to be back by April 28 or so. The Jays called up INF Ryan Roberts from Triple-A Syracuse to take Glaus’ place on the roster.

EXPECTED NEWS: It seemed like a foregone conclusion that LF Reed Johnson would choose to have surgery to repair the herniated disc in his lower back. Back injuries can be very troublesome and it’s best to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Toronto will be without Johnson for at least two months after he goes under the knife on Tuesday.

PROGNOSIS: At least the Jays have a true replacement for Johnson in OF Adam Lind. The same can’t be said for the loss of Ryan and Glaus. Jason Frasor will likely be effective as Toronto’s closer, but he’s not Ryan. As for losing Glaus, that’s a big bat that’s no longer in the lineup. INFs Jason Smith and John McDonald will probably platoon at third base while Glaus is out. Roberts will likely play sparingly at third and at second base, if Aaron Hill needs a day off.

B.J. Ryan Lands on DL (plus pregame)

TORONTO – The Blue Jays placed All-Star closer B.J. Ryan on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left elbow on Sunday.

Ryan, who blew his second save of the season on Saturday against Detroit, is flying to Birmingham, Ala., where he’ll meet with renowned orthropedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday. At that time, the Blue Jays will be able to evaluate the extent of the injury.

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said that Ryan’s elbow had been the source of some mild discomfort during the first week of the season, when the Jays opened the year in Detroit. Ricciardi indicated that the pain worsened during the last week.

Last season, Ryan recorded 38 saves and posted a 1.37 ERA in his first season with Toronto, which signed him to a five-year deal worth $47 million in November 2005. This year, the 31-year-old closer was 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA and three saves in five chances.

————————————————————————————————

Detroit (7-4) at Toronto (6-5)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

TIGERS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Magglio Ordonez, DH
Carlos Guillen, SS
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Sean Casey, 1B
Marcus Thames, LF
Brandon Inge, 3B

PITCHING: LHP Nate Robertson

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Gregg Zaun, C
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Royce Clayton, SS
Adam Lind, LF
John McDonald, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Josh Towers

NOTES: With Ryan out, RHP Jason Frasor moves into the closer’s role. He saved 17 games for Toronto in 2004. … Toronto purchased the contract of RHP Jamie Vermilyea and added him to the bullpen, where he’ll serve mainly as a middle reliever. The Jays transferred LHP Davis Romero (torn left lebrum) to the 6-day DL to clear room on the roster. … LF Reed Johnson "has a decision to make," according to general manager J.P. Ricciardi. That means Johnson will likely have to decided whether or not to have surgery on the herniated disc in his lower back. If he does opt for the operation, he could miss at least two months. … 3B Troy Glaus might be available to play on Tuesday against the Red Sox. … Wells, Thomas, Clayton and hitting coach Mickey Brantley each donned a No. 42 jersey on Sunday in honor of the Jackie Robinson Day.

Game #11: Tigers at Blue Jays pregame

Detroit (6-4) at Toronto (6-4)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

TIGERS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Gary Sheffield, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Carlos Guillen, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Craig Monroe, LF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Omar Infante, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Chad Durbin

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Adam Lind, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Gregg Zaun, C
Aaron Hill, 2B
Jason Smith, 3B
Royce Clayton, SS

PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett

NOTES: The Jays are going to rest 3B Troy Glaus through the weekend and wait until after the off-day on Monday to see if he’ll be able to get back in the lineup on Tuesday. If his tight hamstring or sore heel is still an issue, Toronto will re-evaluate his situation at that point. … LF Reed Johnson (herniated disc in lower back) flew to Florida on Saturday to see a spine specialist. It’s not clear how long Johnson could be out. … Jays manager John Gibbons is considering flip-flopping Lind (left-handed hitter) and Hill (right-handed) in the No. 2 spot of the lineup against righties and lefties, respectively.

Game #10: Tigers at Blue Jays pregame

Detroit (6-3) at Toronto (5-4)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineup:

TIGERS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Gary Sheffield, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Carlos Guillen, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Craig Monroe, LF
Brandon Inge, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Jeremy Bonderman

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Matt Stairs, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Gregg Zaun, C
Aaron Hill, 2B
Jason Smith, 3B
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay

NOTES: Toronto placed LF Reed Johnson (sore back) on the 15-day disabled list and planned on recalling OF Adam Lind from Triple-A Syracuse. Lind was en route to Toronto Friday and would be available on Saturday. … The Jays are giving 3B Troy Glaus (sore hamstring and bone spur in left heel) a few games off before deciding whether or not a trip to the DL could be in store for him, too. … Stairs hit second because he owns a .476 career average against Bonderman. … With a short-handed bench, the Jays have P Josh Towers available as a pinch runner. … Prior to the game, Toronto placed RHP Brandon League on the 15-day DL. The league voided his option to allow the move.

Glaus exits game again

On Thursday, Jays slugger Troy Glaus was pulled from the game in the third inning, when John McDonald took over at third base. Toronto said that Glaus left the game for precautionary reasons related to soreness in his left heel and he was listed as day-to-day.

It’s the second time in a week that Glaus has left a game with the same issue. He also left Saturday’s contest against Tampa Bay with pain in his left heel. Toronto manager John Gibbons said Monday that Glaus was playing with a bone spur in his left foot — something the infielder dealt with off and on last year as well.

It’s not clear how exactly Toronto is going to deal with the situation, but it doesn’t seem good to have Glaus coming and going in games this often this early. One problem is the Jays don’t have a legit backup for third base.

Then again, playing through pain is nothing new for the 6-foot-5 Glaus. He played through leg problems last year and led the Jays with 38 homers. In ’05, he had a strained tendon behind his left knee and still appeared in around 150 games. Still, we’ll see how the current issue continues to play out.

Game #9: Tigers at Blue Jays

Detroit (5-3) at Toronto (5-3)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Today’s lineups:

TIGERS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Magglio Ordonez, DH
Carlos Guillen, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Craig Monroe, LF
Mike Rabelo, C
Brandon Inge, 3B

PITCHING: LHP Mike Maroth

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Matt Stairs, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Troy Glaus, 3B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Royce Clayton, SS
Jason Phillips, 1B

PITCHING: RHP Tomo Ohka

NOTES: LF Reed Johnson sat out with a sore back and wasn’t available off the bench. … Boston had its game rained out Thursday, which means starter Daisuke Matsuzaka is now slated to pitch in Toronto on Tuesday. … RHP Brandon League is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list within the next few days by the Blue Jays.

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